Saturday, February 9, 2013

Africa- Weeks 18, 19, and 20

We learned how to play Mancala, a traditional African game.  We used Cadbury eggs instead of  seeds :)

Our visit to Africa is complete!  We had a great time, of course, and got a taste of the amazing diversity on this giant continent.  We specifically focused on Kenya, but touched on Africa as a whole.  I particularly loved gleaning some history of Africa as I read the biography of David Livingstone aloud to the kids.  It wasn't just the Europeans and Americans that were enslaving Africans... people came from all over to do this.  I also love Livingstone's story, the son of a cotton mill worker who began work in the mills of Scotland at the age of 12.  He had a love of science and worked hard to become a doctor.  He "changed his stars" as we like to say, but we know from his story that it was the God of the stars preparing the way for him!

We did some fun arts and crafts while learning about Africa.  Brown Eyed Girl and I decorated some pillar candles with coffee beans, one of the major crops of Kenya.

We created an African Savannah mural using some magazine photos of African animals and some original drawings.

Each of the kids made an African mask using cardboard and lots of bits and pieces of fibers and other scraps. Mister even created a staff to go along with his warrior mask.

The kids made original paintings using some artist's canvases I bought.  Brown-Eyed Girl loves to make rainbows.  I encouraged her to create a different kind of rainbow and this is what she came up with. She calls it "Guess".   

Our final art project was making a "basket" out of African textiles. I found this paper at the Salvation Army and we used Modge Podge to glue and seal strips of it around a bowl covered in plastic wrap.  When dry, we removed the plastic wrap and did the same to the inside. They are surprisingly sturdy and a great little catch all.

  Now for the weather report.  Over the course of three weeks in Africa, this is what happened here at home.  Week 1: bitterly cold outside!  The whole week was  below freezing, as cold as I can ever remember.  Above: a picture from week 2.  The temperature  got to about 50 degrees and all the snow melted in the backyard.

And this is a picture from the end of week 3!  A blizzard blew into town, creating drifts of snow above the windows.  We had to cancel our 100th day of school swimming trip and a birthday party and girls day shopping trip due to the storm.

But as they always say about Maine, if you don't like the weather, just wait a minute!

Next stop for us: Saudi Arabia!  

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